Discover the greatest people of art, literature, science and fashion. Coco Chanel

4. Coco Chanel (1883-1971)French fashion designer, creator of the Chanel brand: hats, haute couture (high fashion) and everyday (pret-a-porte or ready to wear) clothes, jewelry, perfume (1909 – present)

Coco ChanelCoco Chanel

 

Coco Chanel” - mixed-media on canvas

Artist: Irina Gorelkina

(for the background of this work I have chosen Chanel’s dominating colours – black and white; for her image I have used her photos from late 1930s).

Created: 2013

Doll’s height : 30 cm (without a hat)

Material: sculpted wax, fabric, wire, metal sheet

Canvas size: 20” x 26”

Coco ChanelCoco Chanel

Could just one skinny woman make an actual revolution?

Yes, if this woman is- Coco Chanel.

It is hardly possible to find in History a female figure, who was not a queen or a politician, but could make such a huge influence on human society as Coco Chanel has. I would call her “a leader of feminism in fashion” because she quite fast and easily liberated women from corsets, crinolines, long skirts and nonsensical underwear and successfully dressed them into very practical, comfortable, simple and elegant clothing. She, very harmoniously incorporated in woman’s fashion practically all elements of a traditional man’s costume.

Chanel was born in a poor house. After her mother’s death and father’s disappearance (Chanel was 12 years old) she spent five years in an orphanage where she worked hard, lived in an unheated dormitory, slept on an iron bedstead and ate watered-down porridge. When she closed this miserable and tragic page of her life she desired only one thing – never ever get back to poverty again. And she did not.

Coco Chanel possessed an extraordinary taste and fantastic charisma. She was incredibly stylish, extremely talented, madly ambitious, highly determined, bossy, tough, confident, bitchy and practically indifferent to moral or religious principles. She adored publicity and fame. Once she gained a circle of aristocracy and made the desirable connections she never lost them. She constantly extended and strengthened her position in high society. And this great talent of hers provided a long and brilliant professional career.

© Text and visuals created by IRINA GORELKINA

Discover the greatest people of art, literature, science and fashion. Sir Isaac Newton

3. Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727) English scientist, physicist and mathematician, Knight, President of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, Member of Parliament whose phenomenal discoveries caused the scientific revolution and will always amaze and shock everyone.

Isaac NewtonIsaac Newton

“Sir Isaac Newton” – mixed-media on canvas

Artist: Irina Gorelkina

Created: 2013

Doll’s height : 30 cm

Material: sculpted wax, fabric, wire

Canvas size: 20” x 26”

Isaac NewtonIsaac Newton

As a physicist and mathematician he

created the foundation of classical mechanics;

made a numerous contributions to the optics;

invented the reflecting telescope;

invented infinitesimal calculus (independently of German mathematician Leibniz)

discovered the laws of motion;

discovered universal gravitation;

advanced Kepler’s laws of planetary motions using his (Newton’s) mathematical explanation of gravity.

Sir Isaac Newton English alchemist and theologian.

In 1942 (215 years after Newton’s death) British economist John Maynard Keynes purchased unknown Newton’s documents. Studying them allowed Keynes to make an incredible conclusion -

Newton was not the first of the age of reason, he was the last of the magicians”. Actually Newton was both.

As an alchemist

he endlessly experimented in order to find the philosophical stone.

As a theologian

he studied the biblical text and biblical chronology, trying to discover some new tips or explanations.

He devoted most of his time to this and he continued to do so for years and years. He did it secretly, with the constant risk to his life.

Newton did not discover the philosophical stone.

Newton did not find in theology what he wanted to find – religious confirmations of his scientific discoveries, the key to the immortal life, the components of the philosophical stone. But he demonstrated through his failures the difference between materialistic and non-materialistic approaches and solutions to nature’s mysteries.

All people are equal in Mother-Nature’s eyes. All people look at the same objects and are being offered the same clues by her, like the falling apple for example or a light ray shining through the curtain’s hole. But only one person can truly see them and find a way to the deepest understanding of the great secrets and laws of Nature. Issac Newton was that person.

Falling Apple

According to different accounts Newton mentioned the episode with the apple four times all of them when he was an old man. Why?

Some modern scholars refuse to accept the apple as the object of Newton’s greatest inspiration. Others have no doubts about the apple.

Who knows, maybe the old wise Newton just dreamed up this story being sure that this simple and understandable example can very easily explain not only his revolutionary scientific idea to the ordinary people but also show them how this brilliant idea came into his mind. If it was so then the story with the apple was yet another one of Newton’s incredible creations.

© Text and visuals created by IRINA GORELKINA

Discover the greatest people of art, literature, science and fashion. Raphael

2. Raphael Santi (Raffaello Santi, Raphael, Raffaello Da Urbino, Raffaello Sanzio) -painter, architect, Director of Antiquities (preservation of Rome’s ancient monuments), entrepreneur

RaphaelRaphaelRaphael

b. 1483 – Urbino, Italy

d. 1520 – Rome, Italy

There were only 37 years between these two dates.

In 1516/1517 year Raphael created The Coronation of Charlemagne fresco (in Vatican, Stanza dell’Incendio, Rome). It was devoted to one important historical fact – the coronation of Emperor Charlemagne, which took place in Vatican Basilica in 800 AD. At that time the Frankish Emperor was crowned by Pope Leo III. Pope Leo X who commissioned Raphael to make this fresco desperately wanted to find a delicate political approach to the French King Francois I (Francis I). He wanted Raphael to illustrate a historical example of the traditional Papal – French alliance. Raphael’s genius resolved this serious issue very easily. In the fresco Raphael painted the Emperor with the features of Francois I.

In 1518/1519 year Pope Leo X made a gift to the wife of Francois I (Francis I). It was the painting of a “Holy Family with Elizabeth, the boy Baptist and two angels”. The painting’s composition was prepared by Raphael himself and finished under his guidance by the artists of his workshop. Was it just another present from one great art patron to the other great art patron? Of course not. It was a gift from the head of the Catholic Church to the King of France. Pope considered France as a political partner. Again he chose art to be his mediator in order to charm the young King. The colourful language of art at that time was even more convincing than the boring political speeches.

Being the main customer who could afford to pay handsomely for large-scale artworks the Catholic Church ever urged painters, sculptors and architects to perfect their skills – to do their absolute best, while at the same time making them her loyal servants. Among these loyal servants Raphael was the best. Why? Because his creativity was practically limitless. He could skillfully depict any historical or biblical subject or even several of them in one fresco or oil painting.

Raphael” – mixed-media on canvas

I have shown Raphael as a very young and handsome man who is opening the symbolic curtain of his fruitful artistic future. The colours were chosen from the Raphael’s early paintings.

Created: 2013

Material: sculpted wax, fabric, wire

Doll’s height: 30 cm (without a hat)

Size: 20′ ‘x 24”

© Text and visuals created by IRINA GORELKINA

Discover the greatest people of art, literature, science and fashion. Michelangelo

I would like to invite you on another journey of mine- to discover the greatest people of art, literature, science and fashion

All works which I want to show you are mixed-media. I combined wax, fabric, wire, metal and used a canvas both as base and background.

1. “Michelangelo” – mixed-media on canvas.

Michelangelo Michelangelo

MichelangeloMichelangelo

Michelangelo (Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) (1475 – 1564) – sculptor, painter, architect, poet, engineer; Italy, Florence, Rome, Vatican; High Renaissance epoch.

Michelangelo for me always was and always will be an indescribable, inconceivable, mystifying figure. First time I read about him I was fifteen years old. It was a brilliant novel written in 1907 by a French author Romain Rolland “Life of Michelangelo”.

Many years later I tried to read and to learn more about him, but in the end I got more questions than answers. I realize now that no one can tell you more about Michelangelo than Michelangelo himself. I mean of course his sculptures, his paintings, his drawings and his architectural projects.

Though many conflicting opinions and theories exist regarding his life, the only unquestionable and undeniable truth is the power of Michelangelo’s artistic genius which can be seen and felt in every work of his.

 “I have struggled more than any man ever has,

in bad health and with greatest labour, and still

I remain patient in order to reach the desired goal.”

Michelangelo

The art work: “Michelangelo” – mixed-media on canvas

Created: 2013

Material: sculpted wax, fabric (velvet and silk), wire

Doll’s height: 28,5 cm

Size: 20”x 26”

© Text and visuals created by IRINA GORELKINA

Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary) – a monarch of The House of Windsor, was born on 21 April 1926, became a Queen at the age of 25 (in 1952). The Queen is Head of State of United Kingdom and 15 Commonwealth realms and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Elizabeth IIDSC_1446DSC_1444

1980

The Queen was the first British monarch who made a state visit to Vatican. It was an important historical episode, which shown a new turning point in the relations between the Church Of England and the Roman Catholics.

According to the Protocol “women visiting the Pope in the Vatican should wear long dresses and veils – white for Roman Catholics, black for those of other religions”.

(I chose this the most unusual image of Her Majesty The Queen. That dramatic outfit caused some shock among the press corps of those days).

(Her Majesty The Queen was wearing the famous “Vladimir Tiara,” which was made in Russia in circa 1890, The Royal Family Orders of King George V (blue silk) and King George VI (pink silk) and The Order of the Garter).

Doll

Created: August, 2010

Height: 31 cm (without a crown)

Material: wax, wire, fabric

Costume: three layers of clothing

© Text and visuals created by IRINA GORELKINA

George V

George V (1865-1936) – King of the United Kingdom and British Dominions, Emperor of India, monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (before 1917), monarch of the House of Windsor (after 1917)

George V

…late 1890′s , … north of the English county of Norfolk, … a house in Sanringham. If you could look into the library you would see a man in his thirties wearing a hunting costume. He is completely absorbed sticking a stamp into the album. Who is that mysterious man: a passionate hunter, or a devoted stamp collector?

That is George Frederick Ernest Albert, Duke of York - a grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Being a child, George did not show any talents or special abilities, so his farther decided that Royal Navy would be the best training for him. George started his fifteen year navy career at the age of twelve. He served in the Royal Navy, travelled the world and learned a lot about poor and middle-class people.

Perhaps “when he was Duke of York… he did nothing at all but shoot animals and stick in stamps” (as his official biographer wrote). Perhaps he did not possess some special intellect or a sophisticated taste?! Perhaps he had never enjoyed opera performances?! Perhaps?!

But he was a wise and devoted monarch.

In the time of great political and social turmoil, when labourist, democrat, socialist, communist and fascist movements flooded the political arena causing some European monarchies to perish, George V modified the British monarchy. The genius of his political intuition, his ability to analyze the situation objectively and to compromise allowed the British monarchy not only to survive in spite of the most unfavourable circumstances, but to prosper and grow stronger.

Doll

Created: January, 2010

Height: 30,5 cm

Material: wax, wire, fabric

Costume: two layers of clothing

 © Text and visuals created by IRINA GORELKINA

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) – Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Impress of India. The last monarch of the House of Hanover.

Queen Victoria

She was born to be a Queen, she was raised to be a Queen, and she did everything to stay a Queen.

During her reign she earned names like “The Widow of Windsor”(after her husband death) and “The Grandmother of Europe”(because through the marriages of her children she was related to nearly all royal families of Europe). She was a national symbol of Great Britain and was the embodiment of a very complicated historical period called “ The Victorian Era.”

Queen Victoria was an incredibly paradoxical figure.

She was beautiful, earnest, egoistic. She was terrifically stubborn and at the same time easily manipulated. She liked flattery and her Prime Minister Disraeli practically built their relationship using this weakness of hers.

She symbolized the epoch of new values and social achievements but did not accept them.

She was an icon of motherhood but hated pregnancy and childbirth.

She had nine children and forty two grandchildren but felt herself uncomfortable in the presence of kids.

She desperately wanted to be free and even sent her mother away after becoming a Queen. But very soon she proposed to her first cousin and married him.

She did not want to share the rule of the country with her husband but later she said that “We women are not made for governing”.

She was the first monarch who travelled by train but was completely indifferent to the technological innovations which dramatically changed everything around.

She was a woman but opposed giving women the right to vote.

There were seven attempts on her life (1840-1882) but they only increased her popularity.

Doll

Created: August-September, 2010

Height: 23 cm (without the crown)

Material: wax, wire, fabric

Costume: three layers of clothing

© Text and visuals created by IRINA GORELKINA